by | Jun 7, 2011 | Book Marketing Basics

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A newsletter all about SUCCESSFUL publishing and POWERFUL promotion.

May 27, 2010 Issue #221

in this issue

— Note From The Editor
— Ethical Bribes
— Feature Article: Brown M&M’s: or What Van Halen Can Teach You About Book Marketing
— Leave Your Footprint Online
— How to Sell A Lot of Books on Amazon
— 50 Powerful Social Media Tactics to Use on YouTube
— Book Bits and Bites
— Free Toys and Downloads for Authors
— AME/LULU Webinar University
— Six Quick Tips for Twitter Success
— Keeping Up with Penny
— Hear What The Publishing Insiders Have to Say
— The Secret to Writing a Book Lightning Fast
— Research Trends in Your Topic
— Reader Tip: Earn Passive Income with Your Blog
— A Global Hunger for Social Media
— Twitter Tip: Tweet Deck
— Twitter Tip – HootSuite
— Reader Tip!
— ————————————————————
Penny C. Sansevieri, Editor

You are receiving this newsletter compliments of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. To opt out, please scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter.

Note From The Editor
Welcome to another issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!
Dear Author,

Greetings from New York City, where I’m attending Book Expo 2010! The show is busy and full of buzz about new books, the publishing industry and its future as well as all things digital (e-books, e-rights, you name it). I also managed to snag a copy of the latest Scott Turow book, Innocent – lucky me – and can’t wait to start reading it.
I recently learned the story behind the story of the rock band Van Halen and their concert contract demand that all brown M&M’s be removed from the bowl in their dressing room. I always thought it was yet another example of over the top rock-diva behavior, but believe it or not, there’s a story to this story that is a perfect example of how you should market your book!
In this issue, we’ve also got some great social media tactics to use on YouTube, lots of free toys and downloads for authors and much more! We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together for you.
Wishing you publishing success,

Penny, Paula, Susan, Michelle, Nancy and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
P.S. – Become someone who “likes” our AME page on Facebook, and then you’ll find articles and tips from Penny, notices about upcoming webinars, Publishing Insider shows, and more:

Ethical Bribes
Need to boost your newsletter sign-ups? Add something of value to entice your readers to subscribe. This is called an ethical bribe, you give readers something they want in order to get something you want: their email addresses. Here’s another tip: give them something they need to refer back to so your name, book, and company, if appropriate, stays in front of them!

Feature Article: Brown M&M’s: or What Van Halen Can Teach You About Book Marketing
There’s a story that circulated heavily back when Van Halen was still actively touring. The story was part of the whole “aren’t they diva’s” that fan mags used to love to kvetch about. It started when Van Halen insisted that the concert venue have a bowl of M&M’s in their dressing room but remove all the brown ones. Turns out it wasn’t a diva-act at all. Eddie Van Halen was a perfectionist and the band had extensive lighting and sound requirements for each performance. Eddie knew that if he checked the bowl and there were brown M&M’s that likely the venue hadn’t read the contract and things that would directly affect the show were likely overlooked as well. Really a brilliant move. With one simple clause inserted he could be alerted to a potential problem before it affected their show. So how does this relate to book marketing? Well, my question is: what are your brown M&M’s? Or better yet, what are some key things that are in place to help you know if your marketing is working, or if it isn’t?
So often, we plod along, marketing and marketing and then when our royalty check arrives we find that our sales are paltry at best and assume that our marketing isn’t working. Measuring success in sales is not a good barometer for success. Why? If you need clarification of this you should read my piece on Why (Some) Authors Fail ( Find other triggers. Let’s look at a few.
First off let’s look at some numbers. No, not book sales, other numbers. How is your Twitter account doing? How much traffic are you getting to your Facebook Fan Page? What about your website? Do you notice any trends in your work as it correlates to your traffic and/or Twitter sign-ups? Keep in mind that if you’re blogging, twittering, and using Facebook and you’re not increasing traffic then something is wrong. In other words, brown M&M’s everywhere.
What about speaking or book events? If you do these ask yourself how successful they are. Do you get lots of newsletter sign-ups when you do these? Do you make lots of sales? If not, why do you even bother? More brown M&M’s.
Your website: if you’re getting traffic, what are they doing when they land there? Nothing? You have more brown M&M’s than you know what to do with. Your website is your 24/7 sales tool and if it’s not working for you, it’s working against you.
They key focus here is that you need to find a good, solid set of triggers. If those triggers aren’t responding, or in some cases are, then you know that you have a bigger problem. Make sure that you’re doing periodic “sound checks” to make sure your marketing campaign is operating at its peak and most of all, make darned sure there are no brown M&M’s.
Measuring Results

Now, let’s look at how to measure results. It’s one thing to be aware of all of these issues, it’s quite another to figure out how to track them.
First off, let’s look at Twitter. There are a bunch of Twitter analytic tools (meaning tools that help you analyze your Twitter traffic, sign-ups, etc). My favorite is:, but if you’re looking for a variety, here’s a great list to choose from:
Speaking events: so how do you know if your events aren’t working? Well, let’s do a quick check-in. First off, do you feel like you’re getting good leads from the event? Are people buying your book? Are you getting asked back? Does speaking help to sell other products or services? When I speak, it’s not always about selling my book, though my book is my business card, it’s really about introducing new authors to our company. Ask yourself if you’re doing this for the fame of doing a speaking gig or if they are really paying off for you. It could also be that you’re not doing enough promotion to support the event. For example, if you’re doing an event in a bookstore you should always try and promote the event to the local media as well as any local lists you have.
Website: if you have analytics on your site (and you should) take a look at traffic patterns on specific days that you push content such as each time you blog, or daily as you post to Twitter. You need to look at “unique visitors” as well as where they’re coming from. An analytics report will show how and where the traffic is finding you. For example, you might read the report and see that 30% of your traffic is finding you through your Twitter account. What does this tell you? It tells you that you need to spend more time on Twitter because 30% is a very high number. Having a look at traffic will really help you understand the places you’re getting traffic from and then when you discover this, you can create a roadmap to follow in the future. You can dump the useless stuff and do more of what matters.
The Van Halen story is a great one and can be applied to virtually any industry you’re in. Setting up systems so you can be alerted to problems before they arise is always smart and will save you not only time, but valuable marketing dollars as well.

Leave Your Footprint Online
Ready to make your own *big* impression online? We’ve had a recent *huge* success story I’m dying to share with you. A recent campaign we did got the author on PAGE 1 of Google out of 115 million competing web pages, and the best part? He wasn’t even on Google when we started. If you’re ready to get found online, consider one of our Red Hot Internet Marketing campaigns. Email us today for more information:

How to Sell A Lot of Books on Amazon
Our New Author’s Edge Book Marketing Program

Recently, a number of our clients launched Amazon bestseller email blast campaigns. But the results have been awful.
According to Wall Street Journal online, “Email’s reign is over.”
Spam filters block a very high percentage of emails. In addition, many readers receive over 300 emails every day and click delete regularly.
More and more people use Google to find the information they want. In addition, social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook are further reducing email’s power.
Based on the decline of email marketing and the excellent results our Virtual Author Tour generates, we developed the Author’s Edge program.
This system doesn’t use email marketing at all.
Author’s Edge feeds your book and content into the Internet and draws organic traffic to your website. Namely, readers that love your content and your book.
This proven system combines blogging, SEO, backlinks and social marketing in an exceptional way that sends interested book buyers directly to your web page. We will use keywords to drive targeted traffic to your website for the long-term so you continue to sell books and generate passive income long after the official program ends. Since you control your webpage, as long as you keep it live, you can sell more books.
With this program, we will design your own custom Amazon webpage that’s attached to your website and linked to Amazon. Our team will drive traffic to your website via a very aggressive blog campaign. Our copywriters will craft a new sales letter to drive your book sales. We will help you select a package of gift bonuses or you can use bonuses from our library – often buyer behavior is driven by bonus gifts.
Book buyers can click over to Amazon and buy your book. And of course, they get the bonuses too. In addition, we will create your own Amazon affiliate program account so you can track your sales.
We expect that this program will drive boatloads of book sales for you.
In addition, as a special to Book Marketing Expert members, when you invest in this program within the next 11 days, you will receive a one-on-one 30-minute coaching session with Penny Sansevieri, author of Red Hot Internet Publicity and creator of the Virtual Author Tour.
For more information, email

50 Powerful Social Media Tactics to Use on YouTube
1. Make the videos viral, and spread them to as many websites as possible.
2. Use other social media sites like Twitter and Digg to post your videos.
3. Create well thought out, professionally styled videos that are edited properly.
4. Make sure the sound on your videos is clear and mixed and edited well so users can clearly hear it.
5. Keep content funny, engaging, and informative so viewers will watch it from beginning to end.
6. Try to keep the videos you create clean without too much controversial material.
7. Embed your logo and website into the video somehow. You can do this with text at the end or beginning, or by including your logo or URL throughout the entire video.
8. Have goals for your YouTube videos, but remember that there are thousands of videos on the site, and some have millions of hits while others only have a couple hundred. Set realistic goals.
9. Make sure you have a good camera and editing equipment. If you don’t want to sink the money into these things, consider hiring a professional.
10. Keep the resolution of the video as high as possible, so it’s as clear as it can be.
Want to read the additional 40? Go to:
Tip offered by Susan Gilbert, AME’s Search Engine Marketing Expert and Web 2.0 company owner,, which provides Social Networking websites and services.

Book Bits and Bites
Presidential Pardon: George Washington’s library book has finally been returned, 221 years later:
Smart idea: A British children’s writer sells e-stories for Nintendo DS,
Vampire Fans Rejoice: Eclipse fans win the chance to hang out with Stephenie Meyer and get all of their burning questions answered
It’s Not Over: Time to get started on the ‘Lost’ reading list – the show referenced more than 70 books during its six seasons:

Free Toys and Downloads for Authors
1. Tiny Spell – Have you been typing in a program like Notepad and later found a spelling error? Well, now there’s a nifty little program that checks all your spelling in any window environment. You can customize the dictionary, turn it on and off, and change up the settings. So, if you always wished your application had a spell-check built into it, now it can!
2. Capture Fox – If you are a FireFox user, here is a nice add-on. Capture Fox allows you to record a video screencast of your computer screen for free while also capturing your narrated audio. While you may not have all the bells and whistles found in a program like Camtasia, you can still put out a decent video with this tool.
3. Jaycut – The bad thing with most free video screen capture programs is the lack of editing ability. Well, now you can edit your videos online for free at JayCut. It doesn’t have all the features of a premium editing program, but you will be surprised at what you will be able to do with it. Once you’re done with the edit, you can share, embed or download the final product.
4. Writeboard – This nifty free online application allows you to collaborate with people all over the world with your documents. Every edit is saved so you have a history from the first draft to the final project.
5. Basecamp – The creators of Whiteboard also make Basecamp, an online project management tool. I have used this in the past and really love it. You can set milestones, tasks, and just about everything you need to manage a project. You can also assign roles for others and limit their access to only the areas of the project they need access to. There is a free version of this tool, but you have to look hard for it. In the pricing area, look at the small print directly under the paid options.
6. FaxZero – Ever need to send a fax from your computer? Well, now you can for free at FaxZero. The free version does send ads on the cover page, but if that’s no big deal, then this tool can get the job done for you. Or, Free Fax – sends free faxes online to the US and Canada. Plus, it does NOT place ads on the user’s fax.
7. Meetup – is a great place to go to find local meetings in your area on just about any interest. Many of these local groups would love to have an expert visit their group, so it’s a great resource to check into to help increase your exposure.
8. GOOG-411 – At $2 a pop, directory assistance can really add up. If you are looking for a local business, Google has rolled out GOOG-411. Just call 1-800-466-4411 (1-800-GOOG-411) and in a few seconds you’ll be connected for free to your local business.
9. Evernote – Evernote is an application with a free option that allows you to gather all your notes into one place. Whether you type them, slice a piece of a web page, choose photos or videos, you can do it all through Evernote and collect them into one place. You can even take a picture of your post-it notes and upload them! But what makes Evernote really powerful is that after you upload them, Evernote will automatically categorize them and make them searchable for easy access by you later. Of course, you can also categorize your notes yourself.
10. Dropbox – Do you ever wish that you could access all your important files from any computer you have? With Dropbox, you can. Even if you work on a Mac today and a PC tonight, you will still have access to everything whenever you need it. And the free version starts you out with 2 gigs of storage.
11. ReQall – This is a cool new tool that allows you to call a phone number and record a voice note. ReQall will then transcribe it and even e-mail it back to you. This can be great for grocery lists if you don’t have a pen and paper handy, but the applications can be far-reaching as I’m sure you can see. And the pro versions even expand the capabilities of the free version. In fact, when you sign up, you will be given the pro account to try for free. After 15 days, your account will automatically revert to the free account unless you take action.
Tip submitted by Tony Eldridge, who is the author of the award-winning action/adventure novel, The Samson Effect, which Clive Cussler calls a “first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure.” He is also the creator of Marketing Tips for Authors, a site that publishes free tips and videos to help authors learn marketing techniques for their books. You can read the serial release of The Samson Effect at A complete list of free resources is at

AME/LULU Webinar University
AME and LULU Publishing have joined forces to present publishing seminars. These free classes are led by Penny Sansevieri and will ramp up your book marketing efforts to the next level!
Webinars are held at 7 pm EST and require computer access. FMI, email
Learn more about the Lulu webinars on their Facebook page or at

What they’re saying about Lulu University:

You do great work, can’t wait for the next webinar. I will have to catch the recording of tomorrow’s session because I have appointments that conflict. But I will definitely make it a point not to miss any of yours that I’m aware of.

~Marlene Morris
June 14 – Book Signing Gold!

Got a book signing coming up? Want to know how to strike book signing gold, drive crowds of people to your event, sell more books AND get invited back? Then this class is for you! We’ll teach you how to plan an exceptional book signing from start to finish!
July 12 – Think Outside the Bookstore Box

10 Super Savvy Ways to Promote Your Book without setting foot in a bookstore!

Bookstores got you down? Take heart! There are lots of things you can do to promote your book even if your book isn’t in the bookstores! This class will cover the top 10 super savvy ways you can promote yourself without setting foot in a bookstore. Did you know that only 35% of Americans get their books in bookstores? We’ll talk about all of the other places you can sell your book AND we’ll also look at creative ways to do non-bookstore signings and events! PLUS we’ll also discuss how to promote yourself by hosting your very own virtual tour! Don’t miss this exciting class!
August 9 – Media Training Magic!

Are you ready for your close up? If you’re not sure then this class is for you. Before you spend valuable marketing dollars to get yourself on radio and TV, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing when it comes to media exposure. This class will teach you what you need to know about media training. BONUS: We’ll also share with you the media mistakes you’ll NEVER want to make!

Six Quick Tips for Twitter Success
1. A bio is a must. A recent Harvard Business Review study showed that 82% of unsuccessful Twitter accounts have little or no bio information.
2. You should provide more than 3 links per 20 tweets and you should update more than once a day.
3. If you don’t provide links in your tweets, you should plan to post more often (studies suggest as much as six times a day). You should have no more than 15 updates a day.
4. Twitter names are becoming like URL’s were in the early years of the Internet. Make sure and grab all your branding and your name.
5. Don’t use underscores_ when you’re creating a user name. Not only does it look amateurish, but a number of spammers have hacked into Twitter that way. You don’t want to look like a spammer.
6. Always engage and reply to the @reply responses on Twitter. Why? Well, first off it’s important to engage your followers, but second, those @replies help with your Twitter ranking.

Keeping Up with Penny
Penny has a series on book marketing underway at BookBuzzr, starting with TGIF Book Marketing Tips: Why Inbound Marketing Makes Sense,
From Blog to Book was reprinted on the Working Writers blog,
Penny will be a speaker at the 21st Century Book Marketing Event September 25 and 26 in San Diego, which will focus on all the latest information on publishing and marketing your book.
Keep up with Penny’s latest blog for Huffington Post,
Penny is now an expert, and you can catch up with her articles here:

Hear What The Publishing Insiders Have to Say
Be in the know and hear what the publishing insiders: Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. – and her guests – have to offer in terms of tips and insights into the industry! Listen here. Publishing Insiders is now available on iTunes, so you can keep up with the show wherever you go!
Upcoming shows:

It’s Getting Hot in Here – erotica equals hot books and even hotter sales! June 1, 4 p.m. Pacific

Steamy novels and cover boy hunks have given publishing a much-needed shot in the arm. Learn how the Erotic Romance genre is just exploding. Learn about the skyrocketing sales and the methods erotica authors and publishers use to find their audience. And – wonder how those handsome hunks end up on the cover? We’ll find out how they get there and what it’s like to be on the cover of one of the hottest selling books around!

Powerhouse Promotion with Marci Shimoff – June 15, 4 p.m. Pacific

New York Times bestselling author Marci Shimoff will share the secrets to becoming a successful author and discuss what a bestselling author does to stay on top. You won’t want to miss these insights from an author who is behind the biggest self-help book phenomenon in history, Chicken Soup for the Soul. Shimoff’s six bestselling titles include Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, which have sold more than 13 million copies worldwide, as well as the bestselling Happy for No Reason. She is also a featured teacher in the publishing and movie phenomenon The Secret.
Shows available for download include:

How to Maximize Book Reviews

Self Publishing Success Story

E-books: the Savior of Publishing or the Foe?

Special Guest Mari Smith, queen of Facebook and dubbed “the Pied Piper of the Online World” by, on the hottest new Facebook apps to what’s hot and what’s not in the world of social media.

Special Guest Seth Godin, marketing guru and author of the upcoming book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

All Things Twitter! with Warren Whitlock, author of the first book on Twitter Revolution: How Social Media and Mobile Marketing is Changing the Way We Do Business & Market Online.

What Successful Authors Do with special Guests authors Carol White and Janine Bolon, who share their unique perspectives on what activities authors can do to increase their marketing exposure, manage their expenditures, and take control of their career as authors.

The Secret to Writing a Book Lightning Fast
People ask me how I was able to crank out three books in record time, frankly they’re baffled. The answer, however, is very simple. Creating a newsletter and a blog has forced me to constantly be creating content; this content was then folded into new material for my books. So, another good reason to start a blog and a newsletter!

Research Trends in Your Topic
If you’re wondering what the world’s interest is in your topic, there’s a quick and easy way to find out. Head on over to Google Trends:, and plug in your keywords to see who’s been searching on your keywords. This system will also show you news stories that have run on this topic as well as top cities and regions that have used these search terms.

Reader Tip: Earn Passive Income with Your Blog
If you use Blogger/Blogspot for your blog, earn passive income with Amazon widgets and install them easily with only a couple of clicks. It’s a new feature offered with a blogger Widget gadget. I just bought an authentic oriental carpet runner on Amazon with monies earned from clickthroughs for my blogs:, resources, scams and other important things writers need to know., a new concept in review blogs. Recycle your old reviews, promote them, and help other authors in the process. Submission guide lines are in the left column.
Tip submitted by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Award-winning author of the HowToDoItFrugally Series of Books for writers, including USA Book News’ award winners. Website:, E-mail:

A Global Hunger for Social Media
A recent Nielsen study showed that global consumption of social media had a marked significant increase – up 82% from Dec ’08 to Dec ’09. On the average, the study cites that users spend a whopping 5.5 hours per month on their favorite social media sites. As of Dec 2009 – Twitter boasted 18.1 million active users and Facebook had 206.9 million unique visits in Dec 2009.

Twitter Tip: Tweet Deck
Tweet Deck: I love this application and use it all the time, a great way to keep track of the ever-expanding Twitterverse.

Twitter Tip – HootSuite
HootSuite: This site lets you manage multiple profiles and pre-schedule your tweets.

Reader Tip!
If you’ve got a Reader Tip you’d like to share, please send it to with the subject line “reader tip.” Submissions should be 75 words or less.

Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. We serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. We offer a full range of packages and services to choose from.
To see a price list or schedule a free consultation, send your e-mail to with the subject line “Author Services Info.” You can also visit our Web site at
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1 Comment

  1. C. Gilbert Lowery

    I have written “The Untold Experiences of a Navy Corpsman” which was published by Authorhouse and NEED to get my marketing underway. I am open to all suggestions and am enjoying your articles and suggestions. I’m just getting started reading your ideas and am excited with what you have to say. You can’t beat experience!


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